Sunday, 4 January 2015

Sunday Thoughts - Beginning a New Year

We have now arrived at a new year. 2015 has begun and we do not know what God has planned for it. It is common for people to express good wishes, but that is all that they are. They can only happen if God brings them to pass. Sadly, some people will commence the year afraid and wondering if things will only get worse in 2015. Their fears may seem logical, yet they will only happen if God allows it.

Of course, there is always the possibility of a wrong response to the awareness that what God has planned will happen. The wrong response is that we try to live according to his secret will and not according to his revealed will. We can easily tell if we are focussed on his secret will because we will become fatalistic, which is not a good spiritual outlook. Instead we have to partner our awareness of his secret will with a desire to practice his revealed will. His secret will is not written down anywhere on earth, but his revealed will is stated very clearly in the Bible.

If we could ask God one question, and we decided to ask him what he intended to allow in 2015, he would reply to us in the words of Deuteronomy 29:29: ‘The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.’ In other words, he would say to us that the details of his secret will are none of our business.

Is it hard to discover God’s revealed will? The answer is no, because it is clearly described in the Bible. Yet we must approach it aware that some of its requirements are more important than others. The most important of his requirements is that we trust in the Lord Jesus for our personal salvation. Until we do so, we remain at enmity with God. God invites, indeed commands, us to trust in Jesus right away. Once we have ensured that we trusted in Jesus, we can then consider his other requirements.

God’s revealed will is clear that he wants us to live spiritual lives wherever we are. He does not expect us to be ‘spiritual’ in church and something else in the home and in the world. If we are unspiritual at home and in the world we will be unspiritual in the church as well. The revealed will of God for us in 2015 is summarised in Paul’s words in Romans 12:1-2: ‘I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.’ If we do so, we will have a good 2015.

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